pronouncing names (ae endings)

alfredo vizzini alfredo.vizzini at UNITO.IT
Tue Jun 25 11:40:36 CDT 2002

Ok Nico, ben detto!

Mio primo contatto in Taxacom (in italiano), poi English


Alfredo Vizzini
Università degli Studi di Torino
Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale
viale P. A. Mattioli 25
10125 Torino, Italia
T: +39 011 6707446. 47
       +39 011 6707447. 47
       +39 011 6707449. 47
F: +39 011 6707459

----- Original Message -----
From: Nico Cellinese <ncellinese at FMNH.ORG>
Date: Monday, June 24, 2002 5:45 pm
Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] pronouncing names (ae endings)

> This is what I learnt from going to school in Italy, where we are
> still forced to learn Latin from middle school throughout high
> school.  We were
> thought Latin using the soft c's, although rarely teachers might
> insist in having the soft c's converted to hard c's, so Cicero
> (Chi-che-ro) becomes
> Kikero; however, from my personal experience most of us learnt
> Latin using the soft c's only.  For example, the family Asteraceae
> is pronounced
> A-ste-ra-ce-e: the a in -ra is an a as in apple, the -ce is -che,
> and the final -e is another e as in che, two equal, but clearly
> separate sounds.  In
> general, the c is always soft before e and i; it is hard before o,
> a and u.  That works for Italian too.  When I moved to England to
> go to College and
> then later came to the US, I had to teach myself a new way of
> pronouncing latin names, because nobody could understand me; so
> here I am, still
> feeling a little silly and pronouncing Asteraceae the way we all
> do, with the final -eae sounding like one long e, not to mention
> the many other
> variations on the theme also regarding other vowels and
> consonants.  But hey, we can understand each other and that's ok
> by me!  I am not sure
> why I had to learn a new way of pronouncing Latin rather than the
> other way around (you guys learning my way) but that is the way it
> is and I
> think it would be a little unrealistic to force everybody to
> pronounce latin names the correct way.  I didn't say wrong, just
> unrealistic.   If people
> have not learnt Latin at school, how are you planning to teach
> correct pronounciation to the scientific world?  I don't think it
> would be a trivial
> exercise.  As a foreigner, I feel comfortable, I learnt the rules
> of the English pronounciation and I stick to them.  I have no
> problems with that! I
> honestly didn't find myself in a situation where I could not
> communicate using the English pronounciation of Latin.  When I go
> back to Italy I switch
> back and stick to the rules of Latin.  If I deal with a non-
> English foreign collegue we use the English pronounciation because
> we speak English to
> understand each other.  It works.
> Nico Cellinese
> [Pronounced Chellinese with all short -e's like in "led",
> including the last one; I should say though that part of my fun
> living in another country is to
> be able to pronounce my last name "Sellinese" whitouth anybody
> laughing...apart from me of course!]
> Botany Department
> Field Museum of Natural History
> 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
> Chicago, IL 60605
> Tel. 312-665-7881
> Fax 312-665-7158

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